Violent storms that swept eastern US left at least nine people dead,authorities said on Saturday,while three million people went without power on one of the hottest days on record.
Six people were reported killed in Virginia,including a 90-year-old woman asleep in bed when a tree slammed into her home. Two young cousins in New Jersey were killed when a tree fell on their tent while camping. Police in Maryland said a man was killed when a tree fell onto his car.
Hundreds of thousands in Washington DC and other areas were still largely without power,and air conditioning,on Saturday as temperatures were expected to reach above 40 degrees Celsius across the region.
People chose to escape the heat in shopping malls or hotels. Drivers navigated through intersections left unguided by dead traffic lights. In suburban Washington,emergency call centres were without power and residents were told to go to police or fire stations if they needed help. Others were asked to conserve water. Cellphone coverage was spotty.
On Friday,the nations capital reached 40 degrees Celsius,topping a record of 38 degrees Celsius set in 1934.